England got off to a near-perfect start in its World Cup campaign on Monday when it thumped Iran 6-2 in a Group B encounter.

Five different goal-scorers got on the scoresheet as Gareth Southgate’s men bounced back from a six-match winless run.

The Three Lions’ dominance was summed up in their final goal of the evening when Jack Grealish finished off a 35-pass move – the longest build-up to a goal in a World Cup on record since 1966.

Argentina’s 24-pass move for Esteban Cambiasso’s goal against Serbia and Montenegro in the 2006 World Cup is widely regarded as one of the greatest goals of the tournament. Interestingly, England went on to break Argentina’s record in the previous World Cup when Harry Kane finished off a 25-pass sequence in a 6-1 win over Panama.

Grealish’ s goal involved all 11 England players and spanned 87 seconds before Callum Wilson unselfishly set up the Manchester City attacker for a simple tap in in the 89 th minute.

The move started in the 87 th minute when Declan Rice took a short free-kick in the centre circle before England stretched Iran all around the pitch with its passing. Jude Bellingham was the most involved in the move, with nine passes before he released Wilson behind Iran’s defence through on goal.

England manager picked out Grealish’s goal as his favourite from the bunch. “I particularly liked Jack Grealish’s goal. Callum Wilson could have come on and been selfish but he’s thinking of the team,” said Southgate.

England next takes on the USA on November 25.



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